Saari Residence


For Anni Sundbacka, the freedom and intrinsic value of art is key

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

Anni Sundbacka starts in mid-June as Deputy Residency Director at Saari. Residency Director Leena Kela is taking study leave for slightly over a year to continue and complete her dissertation in artistic research.

Anni has a Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature. However, she focused her studies on performing arts research and also has a dissertation on the political dimensions of performing arts waiting for completion in her desk drawer, and she hopes to continue it in the future. “In addition to my humanist background, I am a baker-confectioner by training, although these days I only bake for my friends and family. Immersing myself in doing something with my hands brings balance to my thinking and my work, which relies heavily on interaction,” says Anni.

Before coming to the Saari Residence, Anni worked as an educator of performing arts production at the Turku Arts Academy. She has spent most of her career in the liberal arts, for example in contemporary puppet theatre and performance as an executive director and producer.

“Because of my knowledge of the free art scene and my freelance background, the conditions for working as an artist are very close to my heart. This is highlighted in the current political climate, especially when working with young people and those entering the sector. I am also interested in the development and well-being of work communities. However, at the heart of all administrative and organisational work there is always, for me, the freedom and intrinsic value of art,” says Anni.

“In my new job, I especially look forward to encounters with members of the Saari community, immersing myself in a satisfying way in the work of the artists-in-residence and the opportunity to bring together different ideas and influences. I also greatly appreciate the unique environment and cultural landscape of the Saari Residence,” she concludes.

Three questions for the Deputy Residency Director

What are your expectations for the Saari Residence?

I look forward to working among Kone Foundation’s diverse group of professionals and in the unique Saari environment. In particular, I look forward to meeting the summer residents at Saari – not only the human residents but also the sheep who do valuable landscaping work.

What do you like to do outside of work?

In my free time, I like to do gardening and in the winter I go ice swimming. My background as a literary historian is also reflected in my reading habits.

If you were an animal, which one would you be?

I would be a fox moving around at the crack of dawn.